Oil giant Shell’s profits nearly tripled to £7.3bn as fuel prices rise Business News

Shell’s profits nearly tripled to $9.1bn (£7.3bn) at the start of this year as energy prices soar amid war in Ukraine.

The oil giant reported record first-quarter profits on Thursday, saying it had delivered “strong results in a volatile period.”

The energy sector is reaping the benefits of soaring oil and gas prices, which have been pushed to record highs by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and rising demand as economies come out of the Covid pandemic.

Shell’s new results come amid growing calls in the UK for a windfall tax on fossil fuel giants to ease the cost of living crisis.

Ed Miliband, Shadow Climate Change Secretary, said: “Another day, another oil and gas company making billions in profits, and yet another day when the government shamefully refuses to act with a windfall tax to bring down the bills.

Shell’s £7.3billion underlying profit for the first three months of this year was better than expected and nearly triple the $3.2billion (£2.6billion) reported in 2021.

Ben van Beurden, Managing Director of the company, said: “The war in Ukraine is first and foremost a human tragedy, but it has also caused significant disruption in global energy markets and has shown that safe energy, reliable and affordable simply cannot be taken for granted.

“The impacts of this uncertainty and the higher costs that come with it are being felt everywhere. We have engaged with governments, our customers and suppliers to overcome difficult implications and provide support and solutions where we can.

The new figures show Shell was hit by its decision to pull out of Russia over the war in Ukraine, booking a $3.9bn (£3.1bn) charge.

Shell announced its first quarter results on the same week day oil and gas company BP posted its highest underlying earnings in more than a decade.

Environmental activists have also called for a windfall tax after the surge in incomes came to light.

“As fossil fuel giants like Shell post huge profits, millions of people are struggling with skyrocketing energy bills and living in homes that leak heat,” said Connor Schwartz, Friends of the earth.

“A tax on these excess profits could help pay for a nationwide program of free insulation, rolled out street by street, focusing first on those most in need.”

Meanwhile Philip Evans, a Greenpeace UK campaigner, said: ‘Using much of the inflated profits that Shell, BP and others rake in to make homes warmer, more energy efficient and fitted with heat pumps heat, the government could start to really tackle the climate crisis and the cost of living crisis simultaneously.

Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, has so far resisted pressure for companies to pay more tax, instead turning to companies making big profits to reinvest the money back in the UK.

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This notice was published: 2022-05-05 16:56:36

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